The purpose of this paper to synthesise much of the existing research on autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and offending behaviour.
It considers three key areas, namely, first, a discussion about the nature of ASD and how it might be related to offending behaviour; second, a brief commentary about the prevalence of this population; and, finally, an exploration of the effective management and possible treatment outcomes.
Methodological limitations have resulted in variable findings which has hindered our understanding of this population. Some of the research is based on small, highly specialist samples making prevalence difficult to measure. The link between ASD and offending is still not well understood, and despite advances in staff training, awareness amongst practitioners remains an underdeveloped area, thus yielding variable treatment outcomes.
This review continues to demonstrate the urgent need for robust research in order to better understand the link between ASD and offending behaviour, to provide tailored, needs-led interventions, and reduce the risk of offending amongst this group as a whole.
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